News Rohan Glynn with his two Dalmations and German Pointer

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure for a big surprise – especially if you have dogs.

On the ascent: Brae Hill (blue cap) wins the Lincoln from Mull Of Killough

Brae Hill clings on to land first Lincoln for Fahey

Before the Lincoln Handicap, the first leg of the traditional spring double, was run here yesterday, bookmakers were already in pocket over the second, the Grand National. And a day that began badly for punters with the defection of the well-backed ante-post Aintree favourite, Prince De Beauchene, carried on in similar vein. The first winner of the domestic turf season, Norse Blues, started at 50-1 and the Lincoln went to 25-1 shot Brae Hill.

Mickael Barzalona celebrates

Barzalona has the world at his feet after Dubai success

Frenchman's latest big-race victory seals his place as the successor to Dettori at Godolphin

Reay: he directed specially treated blood bags to be dropped on Port Stanley

Lieutenant General Sir Alan Reay: Soldier who fought cutbacks

Not a drop was spilt of the blood parachuted down on to Port Stanley during the Falklands War in 1982 by Sir Alan Reay's Army Medical Services, but at home his personal rearguard action against a thousand cuts was to end a heroic failure.

Cattle virus hits nine more farms

Nine more farms in England have been hit by the Schmallenberg virus, the midge-borne livestock infection that can cause birth deformities in lambs and calves.

Trainer Paul Nicholls (far right) looks on as head lad Clifford Baker and groom Rose Loxton parade King George VI Chase winner Kauto Star around his home village of Ditcheat yesterday

Kauto Star '50-50' for Gold Cup

Kauto Star is only "50-50" to make the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup after a fall when schooling last week, according to trainer Paul Nicholls.

Poisonous snakes found in luggage at Buenos Aires airport 

A man tried to board a plane in Argentina with almost 250 poisonous snakes and endangered reptiles in his baggage, each meticulously labelled with its Latin name.

Anger as badger culling given go-ahead for next year

Animal welfare campaigners say they will challenge badger culling in England after trials were given the go-ahead by the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman.

Derek Pain: Composter is down in the dumps but vet firm has legs

It's about time I reinforced the no pain, no gain portfolio. I have decided to recruit two contrasting shares – one down in the dumps, the other riding relatively high. They are both small caps that, I hope, will not be too troubled by the recessionary climate and could, with a little luck, emerge as valuable constituents.

Storie-Pugh: Dapper, with great energy and a charismatic personality

Dr Peter Storie-Pugh: Colditz prisoner who became a leading veterinary surgeon

There's a photograph in the small museum at Colditz Castle, Germany, which shows three prisoners after their failed attempt to escape from that notorious Second World War prison for Allied officers. In the centre, with a broad grin on his face, is a young Peter Storie-Pugh. He had been incarcerated since 1940, having been wounded and earning a Military Cross during the retreat to Dunkirk; he was captured, sent to Spangenberg prisoner-of-war camp, escaped, was recaptured and sent to Colditz. He remained there until the end of the war.

Professor William Jarrett: Celebrated veterinary scientist

When William Weipers was appointed director of the Glasgow veterinary school on its absorption into Glasgow University in 1949 he recruited a team of bright young graduates who earned Glasgow a unique place in the scientific spectrum. One of this group was William Fleming Jarrett. Jarrett, universally known as Bill, went on to establish an international reputation for his work on the viruses causing cancer – work that led to major developments in the treatment of the disease in animals and humans. He was instrumental in developing the research that identified the viruses causing leukaemia and Aids.

Zoo slaughter puts lax ownership laws in activists' sights

The deaths of nearly 50 wild animals, freed by their owner who then killed himself, spotlights flaws in US legislation

Scandal of the private zoo that ended in slaughter

Their owner freed them moments before his suicide. Now the hunting of scores of wild animals has shocked Ohio and America

Mental illness care 'close to a revolution'

A revolution in the treatment of psychiatric disorders involving the use of video games, brain surgery, new forms of therapy and drugs will transform the care of the mentally ill in the coming decades, America's leading expert in the field has said.

Zoology

Avian flu's back, warns UN – and new strain is resistant to vaccines

Fears of a fresh outbreak of bird flu this winter have been raised by the United Nations, after an increase in the number of deaths and, crucially, the emergence of a new, mutated strain of the disease.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own